So Jerry Seinfeld made me feel guilty so I’m trying to eke out some words . Today those words are eking.
As you may know (if you have heard any of my cries and screams) I spend most of my time teaching and/preparing to teach fourth graders. And just like any other teacher at this time of year,I feel like I’m insane.
On an average day, just like all of my harried brethren, I have to teach five different subjects and “Get all of my minutes”- This means an hour of reading, an hour of writing, an hour of math and an hour of either social studies or science. That’s four hours right there. Students also have to get half an hour of P.E. They also have to have Half an hour of music or language. Oh and twice a week they have to have a technology credit. They also need to eat (45 minutes a day) and get from class to class.
So there’s six hours a day, not including the moving from one place to another because no one has figured out a safe way to catapult children from one spot to another. Then there’s the half hour before and after school. Plus at my school I also teach a religion class that means for about nine hours a day, I’m in front of a bunch of nine year olds who not only need constant reassurance and guidance, they also have home lives and baggage that they can’t exactly tamp down on a daily basis.
So I have a relatively small class, but with 11 kids x 5 classes x the equivalent of 2 pages of lesson per class, x 5 days a week= over a thousand pages to grade every week. I also have to plan the next weeks classes with my minutes in mind. I also have to communicate with the parents the dates of any tests or projects or reports that are due, and being the only teacher for my grade I sometimes have to assign and grade two major projects in the same day.
A necessary evil, unfortunately, in each teacher’s life, is the lockdown drill. This is on top of everything else we are doing. I am grateful that at this point it is only a drill. Post drill, it is hard to shove the genie back in the bottle. Today’s drill happened right at the beginning of the day, which was in the middle of reading. We lost 15 minutes because of the drill and then the other 45 trying to get everything back to normal. While I was musing that I would do anything for my students, one of my more challenging cherubs said that he could not do math today because he didn’t like how I make my 5’s.